(Or; Why I'm Not in the Fortune-Telling Business)
First off: okay, um, wow? Can I just say that the response for t-shirts has been AMAZING? Who knew so many people were in the market for a new set of lungs (or, you know, a picture of them at least)? Anyway, here's the deal:
*The shirts are officially no cost. I know we all have enough to deal with in terms of payments and financial worries, and I don't want anyone to miss out on the opportunity to give my blog free publicity -- er, I mean to own a beautiful and timeless piece of fashion history -- because of cost. So no charge for shirts.
*If, however, you would like to make a donation toward the cost of printing and shipping, I would be thrilled to accept it. I'm working on setting up a paypal account for that purpose, or simply e-mail me and I'll send my address along for cash/check donations. Just as an FYI, the cost is about $10/shirt, so please limit your donation to that.
*Some people have asked about toddler/child sized t-shirts. As of right now I have two people interested in receiving shirts for their little guys. I'm working on finding a provider willing to print youth sizes with no minimum order, so if you're interested in showing off your kiddo in style, please let me know.
*OFFICIAL DEADLINE for shirt orders is Friday, May 28th (good catch, Jenny!). Sorry about the short notice, but I want to get these printed and sent out ASAP.
Okay, so we're cool on the shirts.
It's been about a month since my last official call, and I'm definitely starting to get restless. Don't get me wrong, there's a part of me that's grateful for the extra time to get everything in order, but you can only repack your hospital bag a certain number of times before you start just wanting to get it over with, already. It's crazy to think that headed into April (with two dry runs from March already behind me), I was absolutely certain that I would have new lungs within the month. Well, okay, so that's not entirely true -- I haven't gotten so cocky yet that I believe I can predict the future, but I was pretty sure the "real" call was coming soon. And now to suddenly find myself at the end of May and still with my CF lungs, well, let's just say I won't be setting up shop as a fortune teller anytime soon. It's humbling, when you think about it, to realize just how uncertain this whole process is. One month you're getting 1-2 calls every week, and then a whole month passes with no lungs available for you. Frustrating, for sure, and also a reminder of why it helps to be on the healthier side of the "transplant window" going into the waiting experience. Lungs don't always come when you expect them, or when you want them . . . there's more to all of this than I will ever understand, but I know I'm grateful to have time to wait, for now at least.
Anyway, after weeks of trying to stay relatively close to home and obsessively checking my phone every five seconds in case I somehow missed a call, I finally woke up and decided that's not the way this relationship is going to go down. After 4 canceled dates and now no calls for several weeks, I'm pretty sure I could do better. No, I'm not switching centers, if that's what you're thinking. I'm still happy overall with my choice and love my doctors, so that's not in the cards anytime soon. Instead, I've decided (again) that it's up to me to actually live my life as best I can during this period, despite the uncertainty of it all. I say "again" because you may remember that I already had this brilliant revelation months ago, but it's all too easy to forget your vow to keep living when the call seems imminent.
So yeah, all of this is a long way of saying that I'm now daring lungs to come and ruin my plans. I've been planning meals out with friends, trips to the Cirque du Soleil, parties at my apartment, and even a couple of day trips. On Monday my mom and I took the train out to New Haven, CT to see my wonderful friend graduate with his (second) master's degree from Yale, and then yesterday we rented a car to travel out to Woodbury Commons -- a truly amazing upscale designer outlet center -- for some shopping and a little fun outside the City. True, we brought enough O2 with us to cover if we got the call along the way, and we're still staying within a couple of hours of my center, but it's still nice to be able to actually make plans and follow through with them.
I think it all goes back to the concept of "readjustment" that I wrote about a few posts ago. For me, at least, there was this huge adjustment when I finally accepted that transplant was on the horizon for me, and then again when I actually went on the list and realized that lungs could technically come for me any day. As my father put it "we went from desperately hoping for a cure to desperately hoping for a fresh set of disease-free lungs" within the span of a couple of years (although obviously we're still hoping for a cure -- we will beat this monster even though to do so wouldn't "save" my lungs at this point). Talk about a major shift in expectations. But I still don't think it compared to the adjustment that took place after my first dry run, when we all suddenly woke up to the hard reality that this could, in fact, happen at any moment, and whether we were prepared or not wasn't going to make any difference to the lungs when they finally arrived. So we went into intense transplant mode, which continued hardcore until the "damp run," at which point we kind of shrugged our shoulders and decided that we had, in fact, seen it all and were literally as prepared as any family could possibly be. So we waited, and waited, and then the adjustments began again as it began to dawn on us all that 4 dry runs does not a transplant make. In other words, each day is a new day, with as much or as little of a chance of a matching donor as the day before it, and expectations don't mean much when the whole thing is out of your hands.
And so I decided to readjust one more time: back to life, back to being grateful for every new day with the lungs God gave me, and back to focusing my energy on the things I can control, rather than spending all my time thinking about something that is going to come when it comes regardless of what I think about it. I figure if time flies when you're having fun, the least I can do is try to speed up this waiting a little bit.
And, in the meantime, if any lungs want to come along and crash my party, that's just fine by me.
- I am a 33-year-old wife, sister, daughter, friend, law school graduate, CFer, lifelong student of public service, blog writer, patient, Sagittarius, reader, Top chef fan, double-lung transplant recipient (twice!), and dog owner living in Colorado's beautiful Mile High City. I love all things colorful, funny, inspiring, or needlessly sarcastic. I share my city with about 2,500,000 other remarkable people, share my disease with 70,000 other beautiful souls, share my life with some unbelievable family and friends, and share my apartment with one very handsome guy and one really fat mutt with a kick-butt personality. We make it work.
About This Blog:
This blog is about me, my life, my sometimes craziness, my disease, and my current journey as a double-lung transplant recipient. It's also a celebration of everyone out there with CF (and other chronic illnesses). It's for you, inspired by you, and dedicated to you -- the community that keeps me writing, living, and breathing.
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